Who Knew Chickens Went On Strike?

I’ve got an eclectic family. There’s everyone from investment bankers to government workers, from ranchers to retirees raising chickens.

We traveled to see the family in Missouri this last week and I got a first class education in chickens from my uncle – quite the entertainment for a city gal like me. Apparently chickens have a lot more personality than I would have guessed. (You’re not gonna believe some of this stuff!)

Interesting chicken facts:

  • Perky, happy hens lay an egg almost every day.

It takes about 24 for a hen to make an egg. Who knew? I asked if it was like some of our bodily functions where these constipated hens felt a certain compulsion to get it out of them and relief when it’s done. The answer was that look that says, “Crazy City Girl” followed by “Yeah, I guess so.”

  • Moulting chickens go on strike.

Yep, apparently when the cluckers lose their feathers, they go on strike. As in, they can’t lay any eggs when they’re bald. (I’ve got friends like that.)

Apparently, there’s still some eggs laid but production goes down by at least 50%. My uncle has 125 hens and usually they lay about 60-70 eggs per day. During moulting time, it’ll be more like 30-40. I had no idea hens were so prissy about their “hair.”

  • Chickens are competitive.

If a chicken walks by a box and there’s an egg in it, they want to lay an egg there too. Sort of like dogs trying to be the top peeing pooch on a tree. (Except for the dirty, smelly, peck-my-hand part, I was LOVING chickens at this point.)

  • Girl chickens can “take care of bidness” without a man.

Hens don’t need a rooster to lay an egg. (See how we’re back to the bodily function comparison?) They only need a rooster if they want to make a chick.

  • Brown eggs don’t live up to the hype

    All the health nuts running around in search of brown eggs are just burning up calories. There’s no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white eggs. It should be noted that the eggs from the Black Copper Maran chickens are very sought after, particularly by French chefs – apparently, they provide unparalleled texture when baking. Those Black Copper Maran hens lay some smooth, smooth eggs. I’m referring to them as the “Barry White of Chickens” from now on.🙂
  • The color of the egg shell depends on the color of the chicken.

The chickens with brown feathers lay brown eggs. Those who lay green eggs (the Americana chickens for example) have some feathers of that shade. Sort of like matching their purse and their shoes.

  • Chickens do gang bangs.

Yup, I about died over this one too. Apparently, those roosters are raping and pillaging little pirates.  They’ll line up 3-4 deep to hump a hen. The worst part is, they hang on to the poor biddies combs (that’s the red thing on their heads) with their beaks. Basically, those caveman roosters are yanking their chicken’s hair. (How rude.)

My uncle had to get rid of some of the roosters because the hens stopped laying after all that “laying.” After the line of roosters working ‘em over, those hens wouldn’t lay eggs. Who can blame them, I say. After all that abuse, they just need to go sleep it off in a quiet coop.

**********

So, there you have it. The chicken facts of life as I learned them. All that education put a different spin on an egg for me, and I surely have more respect for hens at this point.

We have some hoppin’ coffee talk in our clan, huh?

What about you? What’s the strangest job (to you) performed by your friends and family members? Do you enjoy your family visits? Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

#1 – Naked Editor (Tiffany) gave me the name of her winner from last Tuesday’s post on Voice – it is none other than Lena Corazon (aka Jamila Jamison for all who missed that change). Give it up for Lena!!! She has won a seat in Tiffany’s October class for commenting.🙂

#2 – If any of you missed Friday’s Life List Club Milestone party, you might not know about the cool prizes. Right here on More Cowbell, I’m giving away TWO – one to a commenter and one to a subscriber – between now and the end of September. Details can be found here.

Remember, Naked Editor is back this coming Tuesday (that’s tomorrow) with the results of the Dirty Fighting Contest!!

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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45 Responses to Who Knew Chickens Went On Strike?

  1. Laura Drake says:

    Wow Jennie, nothing like waking up early to chicken facts – that’s what I say! Great way to start the week. I like that they went on strike for a better rooster – who knew I had something in common with a chicken? *grin*

    Thanks for making me smile on a Monday at 3 am – not easy to do!

    Like

  2. K.B. Owen says:

    Puk-PAWK!! I’m awake now. We had toilets last week, and chickens this week. What’s next? Thanks for a fun post, Jenny!

    Like

  3. K.B. Owen says:

    Oh, and I can’t wait to see who won the “dirty fighting” contest! Will the excerpt be posted for us to read, with Tiffany’s analysis? Will you post any of the others? I’d love to see what folks came up with.🙂

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      The top three entries will be posted with Tiffany’s comments. Maybe I’ll take a poll to see if y’all want more after that. I got some GREAT entries. Thank God I had Naked Editor to help me pick a top 3 cause it was really hard.🙂

      Like

  4. Trying to visualize your uncle sharing a chicken/rooster gang-bang to you, Jenny. Nope. It’s not working. But, then I have history in farming. Family history. Both parents were raised on dairy farms, but had chickens and hogs and steer (castrated bulls) to feed the family. Maternal side: a spin-off from Menonites. Paternal side: grandpa was stoic and got stuck on the book of Revelations. He predicted the “second coming” was imminent for as long as I can remember.

    Grandma on my paternal side had an egg route. She’d check her eggs for red spots (fertilized eggs?) under a bright light, then pack them. I remember bouncing over back country roads in her ancient, bulbous car (Nellie Belle) delivering fresh eggs. Fun, fond memories.

    My own grandbabies stayed over one night and came running downstairs early telling me there was something in the attic. I went upstairs with them to hear this “noise.” It was a rooster across the street crowing. Until then, I never thought about kids growing up with no knowledge of farms beyond Old McDonald. Sounds like a LOVELY vacation. Welcome home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You had to be there, Gloria. It all started with the number of eggs a chicken lays, then we moved on to the color of the shell. But when I asked about fertilizing the eggs and how chickens got it on, the family coffee hour turned a bit raucous.

      Dang, I’m a city girl but even I know what a rooster sounds like!!

      Like

  5. Perry Block says:

    I have long known that except in the southern states, most American chickens are affiliated with the Teamsters.
    You don’t ever want to be caught in the middle of a chicken strike.
    Not a pretty sight!

    Like

  6. Marcia says:

    LOL! Thanks for making me laugh this morning, Jenny! Love the gang bang part best!
    My family is full of lawyers, cops, private investigators, teachers and pizza kings!

    Like

  7. Stacy Green says:

    OMG, a chicken gang bang! I always knew roosters were aggressive, but man! Poor chickens. Thanks for the laughs:)

    Like

  8. Now I see why you thought Marcia’s reference in the email was so funny. I can’t wait to see how many LLC chicks turn up at DFW Writers.

    Like

  9. Kathy Walker says:

    Oh my god Jen–This was so funny–but also informative–I had no idea. The best part was me thinking about you asking all these chicken questions–I can see the look on your face and the wheels turning inside your head!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m with you, Kathy. I had NO IDEA about any of it…I loved knowing why some of the eggs are different colors.

      And yes, you know the exact look on my face when I reached for my laptop and started asking questions. That family of mine is pretty patient with my fertile mind, especially cuz it usually makes them laugh their faces off.

      Like

  10. Lena Corazon says:

    Eeep, I won! What a wonderful way to start the week!😀

    Jenny, this “chicken gang bang” story reminds me of some less-than-gentlemanly behavior I saw among a group of swans in England. I was picnicking with friends when we saw a couple of swans jump a poor unsuspecting lady swan. Disconcerting, to say the least.😛

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love it when you guys get to win something cool…it’s very exciting to me too! Congrats.🙂

      I’ll tell you, I thought about putting “gang bang” in the title but figured everyone’s spam filters would put me on the boo-hiss list.

      Like

  11. There are no words…

    Like

  12. Hartford says:

    HILARIOUS! Loved it. Chickens DO gang bangs. What a riot. I LOVE your family and would give anything to crash a family trip. LOL!!
    My mother is from the Dominican Republic. One year we traveled for my uncle’s wedding. He was in his 70s and was finally marrying his mistress of 38 years. When he married his first wife, my grandfather didn’t approve. They separated but wouldn’t divorce until grandpa bit the big biscuit. Once he did, they divorced and uncle Henry tied the knot with his lady friend. My nanny, still living, was NOT impressed. I loved it – thought it was terribly redneck so totally my style! LOL!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Natalie,

      I actually thought of you when I posted this blog. I knew this would be right up your urban redneck alley. I think you’d blend just fine with “my people.” I’ve got more Missouri tales coming on Thursday with a post called, “Do I Have A Dirty Mind?”

      Your blog today on golf just begs a pingback and an answering post. Loved it! (Everyone click on Natalie’s post and explore her dark side.) When I’m done working for a living, I’m gonna tweet it.

      Like

  13. *mouth still hanging open *

    My paternal grandparents had a farm and every summer we went down south, I picked up what I thought were sweet, innocent chickens not randy freaks. Bwahaha! Love the strikers and competitiveness too. Thanks for the laugh!

    Like

  14. Oh my! I just about peed myself laughing over the the chicken gang bang. I must be a horrible, horrible person.

    A few of my friends have chickens for eggs. No roosters because they don’t need any fertilizing going on. Before that, I didn’t realize there were so many different looking chickens. I especially love the fluffy one. I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s just so FLUFFY!😀.

    Like

  15. Jess Witkins says:

    My brother’s family is raising chickens for the first time this summer. They should be laying soon and it’s been really cool to see them run around the yard and play with the kids. Fun facts to learn about these creatures.

    Like

  16. We’re actually getting some chickens next year and this is so enlightening. Not facts I’ve found in Backyard Poultry. ; )

    Your family sounds like a hoot. I can’t wait for the next fun-fact-filled post!

    Like

  17. Love your topic. I’m always fascinated by egg laying and hens and chicks.🙂 Thanks for this enlightening topic.🙂

    Like

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  19. Too funny and true! I have 10 chickens and they are all on strike right now. They look like a combination between a puffball and pincushion, and have a slightly embarrassed look in their eyes at being partially undressed.

    Like

  20. Pingback: More blog awards – for me??? – Natalie Hartford

  21. Well you’ve just saved me some money Jenny! I’ve been prejudice against white eggs for years thinking the brown were better for you. Not anymore. I’m keeping my change in the bank sister! I can be fooled once but not twice. Nosiree. And not by some sassy chickens I’ll tell you that much. Molting my foot. Those ladies are PMSing is what their doing. I can hear them squawking about that one! Molting. LOL!!!!

    But there’s nothing like fresh eggs Jenny. There is a difinite difference in the taste. Yum.

    It sounds like you had a fantastic time. Thanks for sharing!

    (I’m just silly today. I don’t know what’s got into me? I think it’s blog fever. I’ve read too many blogs today. Yikes!)

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